No there's the rub - what are the top 12 sites in Pennsylvania? (You do know it is somewhat larger than Massachusetts?) I emailed Dale Luthringer, George Fieo, and Steve Halow to get their input a few days ago. I don't think any of us has been to all of the sites in question or even to the tallest twelve sites.
I ask them to email me individually so as not to be influenced by the comments of others, but I will forgo that to include the responses from Dale:
Pennsylvania Rucker Historic Index Site Comparison
Ridley Creek State Park, Delaware Co. 139.35
Cook Forest State Park, Forest Co. 138.41
Fairmont Park, Philadelphia 136.62
Smedley Park, Delaware Co. 135.23
Pennypack Park, Philadelphia 133.07
Clarion River – Clarion, Jefferson, Forest, etc. 130.97
McConnells Mill State Park, Lawrence Co. 130.85
Cemetery Run-Meadville, PA, Crawford Co. 129.23
Tyler State Park-Bucks County 128.68
Swarthmore College, Delaware Co. 127.55
Wintergreen Gorge, Erie County 127.53
Ricketts Glen State Park, Luzerne Co. 126.29
Hearts Content, Anders Run, and the Tionesta Research natural areas should be in the top 12, not necessarily because of their Rucker standings, but in regards to their exceptional white pine and hemlock component… some of the last best stuff remaining in the East without HWA. Tionesta doesn’t surpass Cook’s old growth hemlock in stature, but greatly surpasses it in known age and contiguous acreage.
Cemetery Run http://groups.google.com/group/entstree ... 734?hl=en&
Swarthmore Collegehttp://groups.google.com/group/entstree ... 6d20?hl=en
The twelve sites with the tallest trees are not necessarily the best sites for the eBook purposes. If, as Dale suggests, we include Hearts Content, Anders Run, and the Tionesta Research Natural Area in the top 12, what other sites should be eliminated from the listing? One is easy - the Clarion River is essentially a subset of Cook Forest and can be eliminated. Perhaps Cemetery Run, Meadville could be taken out as it is part of a private cemetery property with no real trails. I would lean toward eliminating Swarthmore College as the last change - but is for example Anders Run really more worthy?
The other consideration might be the location of the sites. We have very little data from northeastern PA, and no sites on the list. Friendship Hill National Historic Site has some nice trees, as does Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern PA. Gettysburg National Military Park has some individually spectacular trees as well as patches of old growth - including stunted oaks on Little Roundtop and Big Roundtop areas. It is in south Central PA and might deserve a nod.
Few NTS people have been there, and Dale might disagree, but I would like to see some consideration for sites like Mount Logan which has some really interesting stunted forests growing in a talus slope, or Marion Brooks Natural Area with an almost pure stand of paper birch. The idea for the latter two would be that it is not just tallness that makes a forest worth visiting or exploring.
So these would be my choice:Top 12 sites for Pennsylvania
1) Ridley Creek State Park, Delaware Co.
2) Cook Forest State Park, Forest Co.
3) Fairmont Park, Philadelphia
4) Smedley Park, Delaware Co.
5) Pennypack Park, Philadelphia
6) McConnells Mill State Park, Lawrence Co.
7) Tyler State Park-Bucks County
8) Wintergreen Gorge, Erie County
9) Ricketts Glen State Park, Luzerne Co.
10) Hearts Content, Warren County
11) Anders Run Natural Area, Warren County
12) Tionesta Research Natural Area, McKean County
Other Sites deserving Consideration:
Swarthmore College, Delaware Co.
Cemetery Run-Meadville, PA, Crawford Co.
Gettysburg National Military Park
Friendship Hill National Historic Site
Mount Logan Natural Area
Marion Brooks Natural Area
Ohiopyle State Park
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